“I looked at the sky, and it was black.” That’s what I heard from one particular African American man. Him and his family lived during the times of peak African American suppression. The way he described it, was he didn’t know who he could trust. Regardless of race or color. Regardless of whether they were family or stranger. Whenever he was confronted with an opportunity for human interaction, he was equally confronted with the thought, “Are you going to betray me?”
This gentleman looks like the everyday man. Someone just like you and just like me. Often it is hard to tell what people are going through in life. Gladly, for that gentleman, that changed when he had the opportunity to travel to the UK and study. I’m paraphrasing, but he said something like, “For the first time, the sun shone.”
I was fortunate. I didn’t grow up at a time and place where people strange and familiar, are weaponized against my well-being. I can’t imagine what it is like to be subjected to generations of oppression. I can only hope to appreciate it by living vicariously through the lives of others.
As I walk my path, it is my intent to continue to embrace the miracle that everybody is. To respect that behind every face is a common Soul. One that is courageous enough to choose the human experience. Unlike Atlas, I can’t shoulder the weight of the world. But I hope for every being on Earth, there is the option to be free. Below is a song I sourced from the movie Django Unchained.